Date: February 12, 2003 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact: Michal Shanley, 863 534-6631 or 819-0397 pager
Osceola County Deputy Fatally Shoots Suspect After Pursuit into Polk

Polk County Sheriff's Office detectives are continuing the investigation into the fatal shooting last night (Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2003) of a suspect by Osceola County Sheriff's Office deputies. The suspect was shot and killed in the area of Champion Gates (Northeast Polk County) after jumping from a stolen vehicle during a pursuit and pointing what appeared to be a gun at deputies.  A second suspect - who is still being sought - fled from the area.

The deceased suspect (who has not yet been positively identified) and a second suspect stole a red Isuzu truck during a home invasion in the area of Intercession City in Osceola County shortly after 3:30 p.m. yesterday. Responding Osceola County deputies spotted the two suspects in the stolen vehicle and began a pursuit that ended in Polk County in the area of Champion Gates on County Road 54. The pursuit ended when the stolen truck veered off the road and came to a stop.

OCSO Bureau Chief Jerry Geier jumped out of his vehicle and ordered the driver to surrender. At this time, the passenger suspect got out of the vehicle and came around behind Geier and pointed what appeared to be a black handgun at him. As OCSO Deputy Tracy Buchannon arrived at the scene, he spotted the suspect pointing the gun at his fellow deputy and immediately  shot the suspect through the driver's side window of his patrol vehicle. OCSO Deputy Justin Boutilier also had just arrived and fired at the suspect. The suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The second suspect (driver) fled from the scene and has not been captured. He is described as a Hispanic male, in his 30s, approximately 6 feet tall, weighing 190 pounds.  This suspect also is believed to have been involved in a carjacking in the same area this morning. The vehicle description from this morning's carjacking is: gold 2000 Ford Windsong mini-van with tag K195I. Anyone with information about the possible identity and/or whereabouts of the suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1800-226-TIPS.

After further examination of the scene, PCSO detectives have concluded that the weapon used by the deceased suspect was a Daisy Powerline BB gun. A total of 21 shots were fired, and the suspect was struck 11 times.  A photo image of the deceased is being released in order to help identify him.  Anyone with any information about the deceased is asked to call PCSO at 534-6379.

NOTE: Photo of BB gun used by deceased suspect:



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